Authentic Egyptian Fatta Recipe: Classic Middle Eastern Cuisine

Authentic Egyptian Fatta Recipe: Classic Middle Eastern Cuisine

Experience the rich flavors of Egypt with this traditional Fatta recipe. This crowd-pleasing dish combines toasted pita, aromatic rice, and tender slow-cooked beef, all drizzled with a zesty garlic-vinegar sauce. Perfect for celebrations and special occasions!

Egyptian Fatta is the centerpiece of festive meals, cherished by both Christians and Muslims. The name “fatta” means “cut in pieces,” referring to the crispy pita base. While it shares a name with Levantine versions, Egyptian Fatta stands apart with its unique preparation and flavors.

Don’t let the ingredient list intimidate you! This recipe is easily broken down into manageable steps. Many components can be prepared in advance, making assembly a breeze when it’s time to serve.

Exploring Egyptian Fatta Variations

While bread, meat, and rice form the foundation of Egyptian Fatta, regional and family variations abound. Some prefer lamb, while others favor beef. The choice between rustic bone-in cuts or leaner boneless meat can change the dish’s character.

Traditionally, Egyptian Fatta uses ruz masri (Egyptian rice). However, basmati or another long-grain rice works beautifully as a substitute, complementing the other flavors perfectly.

Interestingly, Muslim families often include a tomato-based sauce alongside the garlic-vinegar one, while Christian households typically stick to the garlic-vinegar sauce alone. We’ve included both options so you can customize your Fatta experience!

Egyptian Fatta Recipe


For the Meat and Broth:

  • 2 1/4 pounds (1kg) boneless beef chuck, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) ghee (see note)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 5 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed
  • 2 mastic resins, whole (optional; see note)
  • 10 whole black peppercorns
  • 5 allspice berries
  • One 3-inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 medium yellow onion (8 ounces, 225g), unpeeled, halved lengthwise keeping root intact
  • 5 medium cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 6 cups (1.4L) hot water, plus more if needed
  • 15-20 parsley stalks (about 1.4 ounces; 40g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
  • 1 beef bouillon cube (optional; see note)

For the Rice:

  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) ghee (see note)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 green cardamom pods
  • 1 mastic resin (optional; see note)
  • 2 cups uncooked basmati rice (12.7 ounces; 360g), soaked for 30 minutes in room-temperature water, then drained and rinsed
  • 3 cups (710ml) warm meat broth (recipe above)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Toasted Pita:

  • 4 pita (roughly 17 ounces; 480g in total), cut in 1-inch squares (about 7 cups)
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) extra-virgin olive oil or canola oil, plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon sumac (optional)
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper

For the Garlic-Vinegar Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) ghee (see note)
  • 8 medium cloves garlic (26g), minced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 3 tablespoons (45ml) distilled white vinegar
  • 1 cup (237ml) meat broth (recipe above)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

For the Tomato Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup (118ml) garlic-vinegar sauce (recipe above)
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) tomato paste
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

To Assemble:

  • 1 tablespoon ghee (see note)
  • 1/4 cup toasted nuts, such as almonds, pine nuts, walnuts, or cashews


  1. Prepare the Meat and Broth: Season beef with salt. In a large Dutch oven, heat ghee and toast spices until fragrant. Brown beef in batches, then add onion and garlic. Return beef to pot with water, herbs, and spices. Simmer for about 2 hours until tender. Strain broth and set meat aside.
  2. Cook the Rice: In a saucepan, toast spices in ghee, add rice, and stir to coat. Add broth, cover, and cook until tender. Fluff and season to taste.
  3. Make Toasted Bread Chips: Toss pita squares with oil and spices. Bake at 400°F (200°C) until crispy and golden, about 10-15 minutes.
  4. Prepare Garlic-Vinegar Sauce: Sauté garlic in ghee until golden. Whisk in vinegar and broth. Season to taste.
  5. Create Tomato Sauce: Heat garlic-vinegar sauce, whisk in tomato paste, and season.
  6. Assemble the Fatta: Layer toasted pita, rice, and beef on a platter. Drizzle with sauces and top with toasted nuts.
  7. Serve immediately, offering extra sauces on the side for guests to add as desired.

Recipe Notes

Ghee, a clarified butter, is traditional in Egyptian cuisine. If unavailable, use a neutral oil for searing or a 1:1 mix of unsalted butter and neutral oil for other steps.

Mastic resin, or mastica, comes from a Greek shrub and adds a unique flavor to savory and sweet Egyptian dishes. It helps balance gamey flavors in meat dishes.

A beef bouillon cube is optional but can enhance the depth of flavor in the meat.

Cooking time may vary based on the cut and quality of meat. Adjust accordingly.

For rice, follow the liquid ratio on your package if it differs from this recipe.

Make-Ahead and Storage Tips

To simplify preparation, make the broth and beef 1-2 days in advance. Store separately in airtight containers in the fridge. All components can be prepared ahead and reheated before assembly.

Leftover fatta keeps for up to 3 days in the fridge or 3 weeks in the freezer when stored in airtight containers.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
480 Calories
22g Fat
40g Carbs
31g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 to 10
Amount per serving
Calories 480
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 22g 28%
Saturated Fat 8g 38%
Cholesterol 96mg 32%
Sodium 731mg 32%
Total Carbohydrate 40g 15%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 31g
Vitamin C 7mg 36%
Calcium 86mg 7%
Iron 5mg 27%
Potassium 428mg 9%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

You may also like: